Underdog Bobcats beat Rider
Quinnipiac gives Rider first conference loss in 4 years
Lauren Zimniski scored her first-career goal, Nicole Lewis made 11 saves, and the Quinnipiac field hockey team defeated Rider for the first time since Oct. 1, 2006 by the final score of 3-2 on a senior day that could not be scripted Sunday afternoon.
Prior to the loss on the QU Turf Complex, Rider (9-5, 2-1 NEC) had won their last 25 NEC games. Their last loss before the impressive run was on Oct. 26, 2008.
“When I knew senior day might fall on the Rider game I went back and forth deciding whether or not that was a good idea,” Quinnipiac head coach Becca Maine said afterwards. “I decided, why not? We haven’t beaten them since 2006, so it’s a great opportunity.”
Nicole Lewis added to her exceptional career on Sunday afternoon by grabbing her first win against the Broncos. She now has 26 career victories which is the third most for any goalkeeper in school history. She also holds a 1.64 goals-against average per game this season, and a .798 save percentage.
“I expect a lot from myself,” Lewis said. “I expect to be a team leader. I think the way that I can do that is out on the field, bringing the energy and keeping the ball out.”
Fellow senior Zimniski netted the first goal of the contest midway through the first half to give Quinnipiac an early 1-0 lead. The goal was her first in five years as a Bobcat. She also had an assist, which gives her 12 in her career, good for 11th all-time at Quinnipiac.
“I would definitely wait five years for this feeling,” Zimniski said with excitement. “It was awesome, especially on this day. I can’t even explain to you what it felt like, I have so many emotions right now.”
Lewis and Zimniski were the only two members of Quinnipiac to be honored as a part of their last season before the game.
“Lauren has always brought such an even temper and competitive spirit, and then you have Nicole who has such high standards for herself,” Maine said. “They put us in a place where we haven’t been in awhile by beating Rider today.”
Jess Rusin added her team-leading eighth goal of the season with 35:37 left in the second half. She was then followed up by Kristin Engelke, who scored her fourth of the year.
Bobcat’s Zimniski, Jennalise Taylor, Christa Romano, and Danielle Allan all recorded assists on the afternoon.
The two Rider goals were scored in the second half by Gabby Burgo and Allison Muschs.
Quinnipiac (9-5, 2-1 NEC) heads to Robert Morris next Friday looking to improve to 3-1 in conference play.